(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
CAPE GIRARDEAU -- Just 12 seconds away from their first win of the season, the Sikeston Bulldog's suffered another frustrating defeat at the hands of the Perrville Lady Pirates.
Junior Desiree Brown provided the Lady Pirates with a game-winning three-point play that advanced Perryville to the consolation finals of the Kelso Supply Holiday Classic, 44-41 Thursday.
"What hurt was is that we didn't make our lay ups and free throws in the first half," Sikeston head coach Matt Schonhoff said. "If we had did that then we'd have had a bigger lead at the half. We also didn't take advantage of (Perryville's Natalie) Gremaud being in foul trouble.
"When you allow those things to happen then you're going to give a team like Perryville the opportunity and ability to comeback and win."
Sikeston controlled the majority of the first half and looked ready to pull away when a 7-0 run left them up 30-19 three minutes into the third quarter.
In just under a minute, however, the Lady Pirates managed to respond with seven-straight points and by the start of the fourth had pulled within two at 32-30.
The Lady Bulldogs led most of the fourth and by as many as five, but with 42 seconds remaining Gremaud hit a pair of free throws to knot things up at 39-39.
Erika Peet came down on Sikeston's next possession and connected on a put-back to giver her team the lead and force a Perryville timeout with 26 seconds on the clock.
Whatever the Lady Pirates drew up in the huddle payed dividends when, after some tussling in the paint, Brown sank the game-tying basket while also getting fouled on the play.
She sunk her ensuing free throw with 12 seconds remaining to give Perryville their first lead, 42-21, since the first quarter.
"That was a power play," Lady Pirates' head coach Vicki Lohmann said. "(Brown's) a junior and has some jayvee experience the last couple of years, but at the varsity level she has to use her strength inside.
"I know she wasn't doing that the majority of the game, but the big play at the end really is what makes the difference."
Still with plenty of time to come back and score, the Lady Bulldogs were forced to use a timeout when they struggled to move the ball past half court.
They'd inbound next to Perryville's bench with seven seconds left, but the Lady Pirates' full court pressure quickly forced a turnover on a travel call.
After the Lady Pirates hit a pair of free throws Sikeston's final inbound pass was intercepted to seal the loss.
"Having the opportunity to get a win, maybe that pressure started taking hold," Schonhoff said. "Because these girls have been working extremely hard to get that first win of the year.
"It's just stuff we have to correct or it's going to be the same story every game if we don't get it corrected."
Until their fourth quarter letdown, the Lady Bulldogs looked like a team ready to end their five-game losing skid.
Perryville led 6-4 midway through the first quarter, but back-to-back baskets by Michala Nichols gave Sikeston the lead.
The Lady Bulldogs led by as many as seven in the second quarter and a buzzer beater by Trenice Greer gave them a 21-15 edge going into the break.
Perryville closed to within four points early in the third before Sikeston's 7-0 run gave them their largest lead of the game.
"Sikeston put a lot of pressure on guards," Lohmann said. "We have a tendency to turn the ball over the last few years and I know that (Schonhoff) knew that. We have some young guards out there in the two and three positions and they panicked right away.
"When they did that we were forcing ourselves into a position to where we got ourselves down early."
Sikeston's (0-6) effort was led by Erika Peet, who posted a double-double on the night with 11 points and 10 rebounds while adding six steals to her team's cause. Yolanda Johnson's nine points was second on the team with Aleah Little and Michala Nichols contributing eight points each.
For Perryville (4-3), Gremaud had a game-high 13 points despite being in foul trouble the entire second half. Brown was second on the team with 12 points.
Sikeston stills has a chance to end the tournament on a high note when they take on Scott City Saturday in the seventh-place game, Tip off is scheduled for noon at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau.
PERRYVILLE (44) -- Natalie Gremaud 13, Ahnie Hoff 1, Kaycee Erzfeld 5, Allison Moldenhauer 6, Libbi Schnurbusch 2, Catrina More 3, Cheyenne Davis 2, Desiree Brown 12. FG 14, FT 14-21, F 15. (3-pointers: Erzfeld 1, More 1. Fouled out: none.)
SIKESTON (41) -- Hayli Chapman 3, Aleah Little 8, Michala Nichols 8, Trenice Greer 2, Volanda Johnson 9, Erica Peet 11. FG 19, FT 2-11, F 20. (3-pointers: Chapman 1. Fouled out: none.)